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Joint Research Centre
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Robin Smith

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Online sensors delivering spatio-temporal data have emerged in many sectors. In order to have comparable, efficient, real time data flows coming from devices, ARE3NA has developed guidelines, demonstrators and updates to open source tools using the OGC SOS standard for a potential new INSPIRE data download service direct from sensor devices.

EIF interoperability level

INSPIRE Component

MIG activities

  •  Technical
  •  Organisational
  •  Services
  •  Metadata
  •  Data & Service Sharing

Work package 7 a “SOS-based download services”


Geospatial data can take many forms ranging from topographic map objects, to satellite images to any other details in some way referenced to the surface of the Earth. One key concepts about the nature of geospatial data is that these locations are not only fixed in space but also in time. The spatio-temporal element of data is often found in cases where a phenomena (related to the environment, crisis management, transport or even social concerns) is being monitored and especially where (mobile or fixed) sensors are being deployed. Through this work in ARE3NA we have explored how temporal data can be added to a data infrastructure together with a spatial dimension. More specifically, we explore how the OGC's Sensor Observation Service (SOS) can be used to share such data and how this service could be put forward as a candidate Download Service in INSPIRE's Network Services.

Demonstrating and testing an SOS for INSPIRE

Although INSPIRE allowed static maps to be exchanged through Download Serviecs such as the OGC Web Feature Services and ATOM there was no way to share complex and sometimes very volume spatio-temporal data coming from sensors, especially in an agile way. Missing this data meant that large amounts of valuable information were being lost for INSPIRE data themes related to, for example, Atmospheric Conditions or the details gathered in different Environmental Monitoring Facilities. These data types provide examples of how INSPIRE already faces spatio-temporal data but, importantly, defining SOS for INSPIRE can also help such standards be explored in other sectors beyond the environment, such as traffic volumes or civil engineering.

For this reason, ARE3NA has developed the INSPIRE Download Service specification that extends the OGC SOS 2.0 specification in order to embrace the efficiency of this type of data sharing while being compliant to INSPIRE's requirements.

To show the features and behaviour of this cutting-edge protocol, ARE3NA has supported the development of the needed technical changes to provide INSPIRE compliant SOS with the open source software developed by 52º North. This work has involved setting up a public demonstrator instance to test its functionalities, specifically applying this to the case of queries for data coming from sensors for air quality.

This evidence has been submitted to the INSPIRE Maintenance and Implementation Group for potential endorsement as a new INSPIRE Download Service.

The solutions and other outputs of this work are provided below.


INSPIRE SOS software

INSPIRE SOS Demonstrator

Technical Guidelines (via MIG Platform)

Instances in public administrations



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